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Windows 7: Critical file sharing issue

27 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise
Critical file sharing issue

Quick background: I've been an IT admin for a major university for the past 12 years managing 300+ Windows and Mac user machines. So, this likely isn't your average network connectivity/name resolution/permissions/firewall issue.

I have an important user's Windows 7 Enterprise (32 bit) machine that cannot connect to any windows file shares (Known good ones on multiple servers). At this point I would have normally just wiped the Windows install out and reinstalled but the user apparently has had this issue for many months (Possibly since May) and hadn't noticed. This resulted in his home directory being stuck in an offline state and all of his modifications are "stuck" on this laptop.

To further complicate things, before I knew the extent of the problem, I removed it from our domain and whatever issue is plaguing this windows install also is preventing me from being able to re-add it to the domain. Therefore I cannot login as the user with the cached offline files at the moment.

Here's what works:
-DNS name resolution
-NetBIOS/WINS name resolution
-Pinging the machines with the shared volumes
-Web access

Here's what doesn't work:
-Accessing any file shares. After about 30 seconds the error says "Windows cannot access \\servername\share"
-Accessing local file shares (i.e. \\\c$ ...\temp, etc.). I get the same error here.
-The network troubleshooter doesn't find any problems.

The above behavior is the same whether connected through the wired or wireless NICs. That indicates to me that it's not likely NIC/driver related. There is also nothing of significance in the Event logs.

Here's what I've tried:
-Removing and re-adding Client for Microsoft Networks and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft
-netsh int ip reset
-Safemode with Networking. Same behavior as above.
-Disabling offline files
-Other stuff that I can't recall right now

I should also mention that the only System Restore dates available are after the problem manifested itself. So, I can't use that.

The goal is to retreive his offline files. My current thinking tells me that I need to address the problem, get the machine back on the domain, login as the affected user and allow it to sync back up with his home directory.

Any ideas? I've been messing with this off and on for 3 days now and am at the end of my rope.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise

Well, couldn't get the file share access thing worked out but I did some experimenting on another Win7 machine and figured out how to get another user's offline files back (Assuming you have admin rights).

Here's what I did:
-Disable offline files
-Navigate to c:\windows\csc
-Take ownership of the directory and all sub directories
-Assign your account full control permissions
-Copy the files you want out of there

This sounds relatively simple but I was very paranoid about messing up the files in the process. Windows XP used to keep offline files in some sort of convaluted/compressed format that was not really usable on its own. Apparently they changed this is Win 7 and that's a good thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Critical file sharing issue

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